Drinkers today are weary of mustachioed mixologists serving up surliness along with $16 tipples. Hand them a menu and their eyes glaze over at the mention of yet another rendition of housemade lavender-habanero bitters. And yes, they’re sick of feeling guilty for ordering that martini with stigmatized vodka instead of gin.
Cocktail fatigue, you say? Hardly. Well-crafted libations made by ladies and gents who know what they’re doing—you know, real bartenders—will never go out of style. But what boozehounds are looking for in their glass—and where they’re choosing to belly up to the bar—is a constant work in progress.
Fashionable drink trends can go from cutting-edge to old hat almost overnight in the cocktail world—surely, there’s a hand-carved orb of ice anchoring Scotch glass, and your Manhattan is always made with small-batch rye. Still, there are plenty of new developments at some of the country’s top bars and restaurants that haven’t yet reached ubiquity. A few are on the fast track to being as widely embraced as the Long Island Iced Tea during the T.G.I. Friday’s era; others, like barrel-aged tipples, have been around for a bit but are slowly proving they’re not flash-in-the-pan gimmicks.
Click through our slideshow to read about 10 prominent barroom trends, with commentary from some of the country’s finest drink-slingers.
Written by Alia Akkam (@theqnote)